October 25, 2007

What Will Her Legacy Be?

Secretary Rice was confronted by a protester with symbolic blood on her hands as she prepared to give testimony regarding the war in Iraq. Condie kept her cool, she didn't flinch and seemed not to be disturbed.

Two things about this scene struck me: Number 1, where the *#%@ was her security? this protester rolled right up on Condi and had her intent been to take Condi out, she could have done serious damage or even killed her if she knew what she was doing, given how close she got. You can count almost 5 full seconds before anybody physically got a hand on this woman and thats counting from the time you first hear her on the video just before she comes into the frame. She was actually zeroing in on Condi before you see her in the frame, as Condi began to approach the table to testify, but nobody was moving to intercept her BEFORE she reached Condi, which means nobody was paying enough attention to see her coming even though she had to cross at least 6-10 feet of distance to make that approach. Nobody in her security detail had a body between Condi and this woman. If that woman had been out to kill her, Condi could have bought it right there. Her security detail for the day ought to get a foot in the ass on that one.

The second thing is that I began wondering, as I have done now many times, what is Condi's legacy going to be? I simply can't wait to read her memoir. She has been there from the start. She has been as instrumental in the implementation if not the crafting of the Iraq war strategy. Its abundantly clear that the administrations decisions, mistakes and continuing strategy in the prosecution of this war will mean that the US will be bogged down in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The left clamors for a swift end to the war, but in their heart of hearts the Democratic presidential hopefuls have to know that the course of events that has brought us to this point means that there is no solution as simple as just bringing the troops home that safeguards our national security. Hillary knows this and I believe the reality of it is reluctantly being increasingly understood by Barack.

Condi has been a major part of the decision trail that got us where we are now. Bogged down in Iraq, old competitors like Russia resurgent, other hotspots the world over with the potential to become major geopolitical threats. We are bogged down in Iraq and our ability to respond to threats elsewhere in the world is very limited and other countries, like Russia, are moving to take advantage of our distraction. This is merely one result of the administration's decisions that really calls into question their judgment. How will Condi explain or justify her role in this policy and its results. What will be her answer to the staggering human cost and the nearly 2 trillion dollars we will spend before its even close to over? How will she defend the wisdom of policies that have meant the expenditure of huge amounts of national treasure, loss of life, and the reduction of US military and diplomatic options around the world? Is she among Bush's true believers? Is she the voice of reason that Colin used to represent who stayed to moderate as best she could the excesses of this administration? Is it possible that if she had left as Colin did, that we would be even more deeply involved in Middle East conflict? I await history's judgment and her defense of her role.

I fear that the legacy of this oh so tremendously accomplished black woman will be forever tarnished and besmirched by her faithful service to this President in the furtherance of what increasingly appears to be the most perilous and disastrous policy decision of the last 50 years. It saddens me deeply.